November 17, 2002. Nature has been kind. Whereas we usually have snow, or at least sleet and freezing rain this time of the year, temperatures were forecast for the mid 60s coupled with lots of sunshine.

Three riders gathered for breakfast at Laurie's Kitchen in Mulvane. Bill Stephens rode his KLR650, Henry Harvey had his Moto Guzzi Quota along, and myself, Roger Baugh, rode in on my "clean" KLR650.

Following breakfast, we traveled east to Latham, our jumping-off point into the Flint Hills of Elk county. Road conditions were rougher than on past travels through this area .... the result of recent buried utility construction paralleling the roadbed. Taking it slow and easy was both comfortable and prudent this time through.

We worked our way to the south towards Grenola, then back to the west to an area south of the Ferguson Ranch. One of the highlights was having a small herd of horses running up to a fenceline, and then gallopping alongside us for maybe a half mile. Their playfulness indicated they were having as much fun as we were!

It was disappointing to see an old homestead featured in our September 2, 2001 ride had been recently bulldozed to a rubble pile ... suppose that means "progress".

Riding to the west brought us to one of the most scenic areas of the Flint Hills, Grouse Creek in Cowley county. We were fortunate to locate three turn-of-the-century limestone arched bridges. Amazingly, the three bridges are within 2-1/2 miles of each other. All are still in use, and it was apparent that preservation efforts are in progress to keep them sound for many years to come.

From Grouse Creek, we continued to work our way back to Wichita on secondary paved roads, arriving home just as the sun was preparing to set. Nice way to spend a Sunday in November!

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